It is a unique piece brought out by the Swiss house of Purnell, a moment in time piece for it has been brought out in a limited edition of just one timepiece. The Escape II Unique Absolute Sapphire Hancock Red features the house’s famous double spheroid, the world’s fastest triple axis tourbillon, nestled into a full sapphire case, the Absolute Sapphire. But its most intriguing aspect is its red color, the celebrated Hancock Red. One of the most famous red diamonds was the Hancock Red sold by Christie’s in New York in 1987 and which was at the time the most expensive per-carat gemstone ever sold at auction when the hammer came down at US$880,000 or US$926,315 per carat. The diamonds weighs in at 0.95ct. Its fancy red hue was a mesmerizing shade of red and one that remains inimitable today. Red diamonds are one of the most sought-after of precious gemstones and gemmologists are still not entirely sure how red diamonds obtain their hue. Of all the colored diamonds, one color in particular is especially rare: a predominately red diamond according to the Gemmological Institute of America, (the GIA) which also confirms that researchers are still not sure as to how they obtain their color.
“I remember that auction on the news back in 1987, and how beautiful and vibrant the Hancock Red diamond was,” comments Maurizio Mazzocchi, CEO of Purnell. “When we were developing the Absolute Sapphire, I pushed the team to get that same red diamond shade. It has never been done before and, I believe, will never be replicated. It’s truly unique.”
Meanwhile Purnell’s Escape II Unique Absolute Sapphire Hancock Red features a mechanical hand winding caliber PO3 in-house movement and enjoys a power reserve of 32 hours and is outfitted with a white fabric strap. The house of Purnell was founded in Geneva in 2020 and its hallmark is its Spherion, the world’s fastest triple-axis tourbillon created by the watchmaker Eric Coudray.
©Trish Valicenti for The Gourmet Gazette